"Why a duck?" The answer to that and many other questions about the Marx Brothers and their classic movie comedies are available in the exhibit "The Marx Brothers: A Century of Laughter," on display through September at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library of The Johns Hopkins University.
Included are books, phonograph records, sheet music, posters and other memorabilia related to the Marx Brothers and their movies, collected over many years by Eisenhower Library staff member Martha Christensen.
Since the 1920s, the Marx Brothers' offbeat, zany comedy has been amusing moviegoers of all ages. Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo and Gummo were five brothers whose mother, Minnie, pushed them into show business to keep them out of trouble. In various combinations, their comic genius spanned most of the 20th century.
In her commentary accompanying the items on exhibit, Christensen explains how the brothers went from small-time vaudeville entertainers to become the pop culture icons they are today. Groucho's character, in particular, changed from vaudeville to the stage, to movies, radio and television, she notes.
The exhibit is on the library's main level and can be viewed during the library's normal hours. Members of the public must show photo identification to enter the library, which is at 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. The library remains open during the current construction between it and Charles Street.
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